How much mAh are you really getting?
When you talk about powerbanks, Xiaomi’s offerings are usually the products that get mentioned the most. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re stylish and affordable, and are the de facto standard
that most other powerbanks are measured against. And just like their burgeoning line of smartphones, Xiaomi’s powerbank offerings are already quite numerous and covers a number of sizes and capacities. Today we’ll be talking about a few of them, and show you just how much juice you’re getting versus the advertised capacity.
If you take a look at the advertised capacity of the powerbanks we talk about in the article and the actual numbers we got, there’s an inherent discrepancy. Why? Well, there’s a number of factors – heat is one, and as you transfer electricity from a socket to the powerbank, heat is generated, lowering the efficiency of the powerbank. Another reason for the discrepancy is how powerbanks work: the batteries used in powerbanks have an average voltage of 3.7 volts. To be able to charge your phone, the circuitry in the powerbank needs to boost that voltage to 5 volts, which is the standard voltage that your power adapter delivers to your phone. To achieve that, the powerbank has a voltage booster inside that bumps the voltage from 3.7 to 5 to safely charge your phone – deviating from the voltage is hazardous for both phone and powerbank, which may lead to damage to either your phone, battery or both. That’s why using generic, cheap powerbanks are dangerous because you never know if the manufacturer used quality parts for the batteries and the controllers.
Boosting the charge consumes power, hence you’re not getting the full, advertised capacity, which isn’t that much of a big deal. The question now is how close does Xiaomi’s offerings get to their advertised capacity. That’s what we’re here to talk about. To test this, we drained all the powerbanks in the article and charged them to the brim, and then measured their output.
The Mi Powerbank 10400mAh was the first powerbank released by Xiaomi when they entered the PH in the middle of last year. At the time, the 10400mAh was one of the few, truly bang-for-the-buck powerbanks in the market, going for as little as Php 645 when it was first offered in the PH, though Xiaomi’s done price adjustments as of writing to account for their move to offline sales. Xiami advertises the Mi Powerbank 10400mAh as containing batteries made by LG and Samsung, contained in an aluminum case. The Mi Powerbank 10400mAh comes in a number of colors, though for the PH silver is still the most common. A full charge netted us a result of 9488mAh with 1.3 amperes and 4.95 volts input. The Mi Powerbank 10400mAh gave a total of 6893mAh of actual juice to our devices. This powerbank retails at Php 849 at Lazada.
Mi Powerbank 5000mAh
The slimmest of all the powerbanks that Xiaomi sells, the 5000mAh Mi Powerbank is aimed at people who want to have a portable source of power without adding additional bulk to their bag or purse. We recorded a full charge of 4505mAh, and an output of 3170mAh. The 5000mAh model of the Mi Powerbank is unfortunately not sold in the PH, and you’ll have to settle for the slightly chunkier 5200mAh model.
Mi Powerbank 16000mAh
The Mi Powerbank 16000mAh is the biggest model to date of Xiaomi, both in capacity and actual size. While the 16000mAh model uses the same design and aluminum frame of its smaller siblings, it utilizes two USB ports to charge two gadgets at a time. Being the biggest powerbank in Xiaomi’s roster, the Mi Powerbank 16000mAh is able to store 13978mAh of juice, and is able to output 10420mAh of that. This particular powerbank can be bought locally through Lazada at just Php 1,299.
Mi Powerbank 10,000mAh
The 10000mAh model of Xiaomi was introduced back in May of this year to compliment their 10400mAh offering. Xiaomi says that they’ve managed to increase energy density by 30%, while decreasing the overall volume of the powerbank by 21.4%. The new powerbank is 60.4mm wide and weighs in at just 207 grams, a far cry from the original’s 77mm width and 250gram weight. This particular model is able to store 8729mAh, and is able to discharge 6672mAh of that stored energy to your devices. This model is not available in the PH.
ZMI 10000 Mah
As Xiaomi expanded, the company made several investments in other tech companies to diversify. One of these companies is ZMI, which is the OEM for Xiaomi’s powerbanks. The ZMI 10,000mAh is quite different from Xiaomi’s other powerbank offerings, mainly because of its design. It’s a rather slim powerbank, and is almost as tall as a Mi Note. Because of the slim profile of the ZMI 10,000mAh ZMI, you can carry it along with your phone back-to-back without too much difficulty. The ZMI 10,000mAh takes 9,712mAh of juice, and is able to give your gadgets around 7177mAh of that stored energy. This model is not available in the PH
Based on our tests, it seems that Xiaomi’s powerbanks are pretty efficient, considering most of them go past 70% on the efficiency rating. And now that you have an idea of what the real capacities for these powerbanks are, you can now effectively choose the right kind of powerbank for your needs. Unfortunately only three powerbank models are offered by Xiaomi here in the PH and hopefully the company starts the rollout of the other powerbanks here as there’s really no one size fits all solution for powerbanks. Different sizes and capacities usually mean different usage scenarios, and more choices is always a good thing.